Whiskey Wolves of the West
Rock Ridge Music
Country and western comes in all sorts of styles from scratchy ’78s sung by men who mine coal to the slick Broadway-scale shows that fill stadia and mega-halls. This band offers two guys that you may have heard of: Tim Jones (vocals and guitar) and Leroy Powell (vocals, guitar, and damn near everything else). Their sound is laid back yet slickly produced with complex arrangements that recalls The Band or Little Feat. Songs move along, not in any hurry but still clearly on a mission.
“Sound of the South” celebrates the southern rock aura through the nostalgia of the old memories of gospel mixing faith and Elvis. It’s the evolution from the early days of the “Nashville Sound” that cleaned up C&W and made it fit for the American middle class. “Alexandria” feels sad and adds a line or two of steel guitar; the song drips with a nostalgia that underlies country, blues, and so many other American musical genres. My fave is “Song Ain’t Gonna Write Itself”; it’s an upbeat two step number that may well have written itself. Truck driving, lost love and the task of writing songs occupy these guys. Drinking, speeding and working dead end jobs color the corners, and the musical skill is excellent. Will these guys be the next big thing? That’s hard to say but all the bones of a long a promising career are right here in this disk. I hope they can find the je ne sais quoi of country; this is a very enjoyable collection of clean sounding songs that touch the hot buttons of the working-class sound of America.